Not sure about where everyone else is, but here in the ATL we are in the midst of winter. That time of year after the holidays where you’re ready for Spring but it’s still 2 months away so you start planning getaways to sunny locations in order to distract yourself.
While it can be a hard time of year to deal with depending on how much bad weather you have, I find that it’s my favorite time of year to indulge in some essential skin prep for Spring.
Winter is the time of year when we lament how dry and lifeless our skin is, and that is usually true, but it’s also a great time of year to prepare our skin for Spring. The perfect time to introduce some simple non-invasive treatments such as chemical peels, microdermabrasion and/or my favorite thing for the past 3 Winters – micro-needling.
Let me preface this post by saying that I am a skin person. As someone who suffered from cystic acne in my 30’s, and now melasma in my 40’s I will try pretty much any non-invasive natural treatment that helps stimulate collagen and reduces hyperpigmentation. I once put cactus juice on my face because a woman on 23rd street told me it was helpful for acne while watching me put a giant cactus I found on the street into a cab. This one clearly wasn’t and I spent the next 3 days ensconced in my apartment sending pictures of my face to my dermatologist cousin who assured me the blistered red spots would fade…
That disaster aside, over the years I have tried a variety of things from peels to dermaplaning all with different results, and have settled on a few treatments that make the cut each Winter. It’s a time for introspection, to slow down and focus on nourishing ourselves and planting seeds, to create strength for Spring’s cycle of growth. This makes it the perfect time of year to really focus on self-care.
These pictures were taken (from L to R) in March, April & June of 2018. Last one was taken this morning, almost a year after the service. Individual results vary, but these are mine.
WTF is Microneedling?
Microneedling is a non-invasive treatment performed 3-4 times in concession for optimal results. A pen-like device inserts tiny needles into the skin stimulating the wound healing cycle. It is used to treat and improve conditions like acne scarring, fine lines and wrinkles, loose skin, skin texture, pore size, brown spots, stretch marks, and pigment issues such as melasma.
Recommended to me years ago by my dear friend, Hennie she was the first to try it out and really liked it so I decided to give it a go. She has beautiful skin and a meticulous and consistent skincare routine so it was a no brainer.
This is now year 3 of adding it to my Winter routine, but the first time I have done 3 consecutive treatments. Previously I just did one at a time, but this time Amy and I decided to dig in and really commit.
How should I prepare for the service?
Take arnica internally for about a week before to reduce redness and inflammation. In addition, stop taking any fish or flaxseed oils 10 days prior to service. Tricia Burns, a licensed Medical Esthetician, and the first one to perform the treatment on me says doing this will give you the best results.
What should I expect from the procedure?
You spend the first 20 minutes of the service with numbing cream on because, ummmm, hello, it’s needles. Fortunately for me, my esthetician Amy Bransford, is one of my best friends so we typically spend that time catching up and hanging out in her latest business venture SparrowHawk Studio, a female-centric tattoo parlor within walking distance from my house. Double win.
Once my skin is numb, she passes the pen like device over my skin. The only time it gets uncomfortable is closer to my temple, but other than that it’s painless. The pen part only takes about 15-20 minutes.
When the service is done she sends me on my way with a wound healing cream and a moisturizer from the device manufacturer, but I toss those and use Marie Veronique Barrier Repair Serum with great results.
What happens afterwards?
Obviously everyone is different, but I am usually red so book my appointments for later in the day and then head home afterwards. When I say red I mean like an intense sunburn. It’s gets a little more red on day 2 along with a feeling of dryness and tightening on day 3. After about 3-5 days I notice little to no redness.
How much does it cost?
Pricing varies, but a session with Amy is $300. I have also done sessions in the past with another kick ass esthetician Tricia Burns here in Atlanta, and her price is $350.
Is it worth it?
For me, absolutely. This is a picture of me taken this morning with maybe 2 facials since my last session in April 2018 and using Marie Veronique Retinol and Lightening Serum with the addition of Vintners Daughter Serum during the winter. You can see the hyperpigmentation is gone or reduced, and the clarity and smoothness of the skin is improved.
If you are looking to address any serious issues or just want overall skin improvement, this is a great service to think about doing each Winter. To book an appointment with Amy click here.